Other Practical Information
Geneva and neighboring France are brimming with international visitors, and there is a wealth of information available for newcomers, much of it in English. Here are some websites:
Geneva Welcome Info from CERN Users Office (children, leisure, doctors, etc)
Welcome info for France from CERN (children, leisure, doctors…)
Transport in France to CERN (Check the “Y” bus schedule)
Public transportation to CERN from Geneva. You can enter a destination and time, and get a suggested itinerary.
A very useful book for arriving families is the “Know It All Parents” guide.
Once you have a telephone line you can choose your Internet provider.
You usually need a bank account in France if you want to choose another supplier other than France Telecom.
Getting Internet in France can be very long, a month or more.
Banking and paying bills
Even without a bank account, you can pay your bills at the post office, in France and in Switzerland.
You can also set up an automatic transfer from your bank.
You can also pay many bills online if the necessary information is given on the bill. Many bills can also be paid at the machine left of the ATMs near the UBS bank at CERN.
Depending on where you live, you may wish to have a French and/or Swiss bank account.
English Language Schools
General information about schooling in Geneva can be found on the official city website where you will find links to both public and private schools.
Most (all?) of the private schools allow entry regardless of whether you reside in Switzerland or France.
International School of Geneva has three independent campuses. They will admit your child based on availability of space. It is expensive (as are all the private schools).
College du Leman – in Versoix, just outside Geneva toward Lausanne
In France there is the Lycee International in Ferney-Voltaire.
It is also worth noting that public schools in Switzerland offer non-French speakers some type of integration program. More info:
Fun activities for kids in Geneva
There is a Geneva Baseball League for all ages and skills, no French required, well run and oriented toward having lots of fun.
Useful information for children leisure and activities in France, pays de GEX
Multi-Sports Mania – a day camp with a wide variety of activities in different venues. Dropoff/pickup point very convenient to CERN at Meyrin squash club.
Intersoccer – soccer day camps, after school, vacation programs etc. Outdoor locations each side of Geneva
The International School of Geneva has summer day camp programs at two (as of 2007) campuses:
English Language Books
There are several decent outlets for English Language books in Geneva.
Library in English (formerly American Library) – Membership library (~100CHF/yr, student discounts available)
Off The Shelf – Bookstore with a small, but nice collection. They will, of course, order anything.
Payot – A big chain store. The branch at 5, Rue Chantepoulet has a large selection of English Language books (note that the other Geneva location at 16, Rue du Marché, does not have many ELBs.
CERN has an English Book Club that you can join for a fee and get access to a collection of over 4500 books.
CERN offers French lessons for users from rank beginners on up. The courses are offered three times per year (but the summer course is for beginners only). The courses fill up, so register early. Contact
Another resource is an adult school teaching French at all levels run by the French Department of Ain (state government), not connected to CERN.
(Thanks to Joe Incandela for the following links)
We do not claim to be tax attorneys (and neither does Joe)!
The IRS FAQs
Statment 673 – This allows your employer to stop witholding taxes.
Tax consequences of non-salary payments. While this is meant for Fermilab users, it may be relevant to non-salary payments at CERN as well.
US Swiss Taxation Event 22 Sept 2009
The American International Club organized this recent event in Geneva.
Some details may be found here.
Further Updated Tax Information
Following the town meeting that took place in Vaud on August 31 2009 with experts on US taxes for US citizens and green card holders living in Switzerland, the experts provided two files giving a summary of the issues and tax obligations. These can be accessed here:
The files were accompanied by the following statement:
“This compilation was put together by our member, Susan Stuber, based on these two tax information meetings as well as interviews and correspondence with, chiefly, Geoffrey DeHaven. It is meant as a guideline to your most pressing questions; if you desire further information, there are footnotes to guide you to the relevant web links. At the end of the day, however, you will be well-advised to have a tax advisor who is versed in U.S. tax regulation.”
A podcast of the meeting also is available.
Tax Info if you Live in France
After 1 year you will have to make yourself known with the “centre des impots” of your department.
Then you only have to fill in a special form, Formulaire 2042 pour declaration impots
Once on that page, please go to
1)Telechargez vos declarations
2)Declaration impots 2042
3)Put your name and correct adress, no salary to put there
4)Go to the last page point 8, line FV, (revenus d’organismes internationnaux)
5)Put a cross there with CERN written next to the cross
6)Print the declaration and send it to the taxes center of your area
House tax – France
You will also have to pay a “living tax” for your house, this tax is due when you are in the place on the 1st of January of the year, this tax can be from 200 euros up to 1000 euros depending of the size of the place you are in.
There is another tax for TV owners if you declare you have one.
Tax Info if you Live in Switzerland
After one year working here, you will have to make yourself known at the “Office cantonal de la population“.
The ever changing $/CHF and $/Euro rates can be conveniently checked online at XE.com (and many other places). Don’t look too often. It’s not a happy experience.